I recently had the chance to spend a few days behind the wheel of our long-term 2013 Honda Accord. Although we've had the Accord for several months, other staff members have done most of the driving. They've raved about the Accord's many positive attributes, from its value and quality to its standard equipment.

As this is my first time in the Accord, I echo many of their sentiments. Our Accord's best trait may be its value. It's hard to believe you can now spend less than $30,000 with shipping and get features such as LaneWatch, two center-mounted screens, a reversing camera, heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control and the Accord's long list of standard safety equipment.

Build quality is also impressive. The Accord isn't a luxury car, and it doesn't feel like the best from Mercedes-Benz or BMW -- but it isn't as far off as the price difference might suggest. Some items may look a little inexpensive, but nothing feels cheap to touch. And that's a big deal for drivers choosing a car they'll want to own for a long time.

Among all the Accord's standard equipment, it's LaneWatch that impresses me most. You might think a camera that takes the place of your side mirror sounds like a gimmick. But I know it works well because when I try to change lanes in a car without LaneWatch, my first glance is to the center console. I wish more cars had this system.

Still, there are a few things I might improve on the 2013 Honda Accord. For example, it seems silly that Honda chose to fit it with so many luxury goodies but decided to leave off automatic wipers; drivers in rainy climates will notice this right away.

I'm also not entirely sold on the Accord's engine and transmission combination. My colleagues love it, but I think our 4-cylinder Accord could use a little extra power. Interestingly, I found the V6 model we tested a few months ago to be horsepower overkill. Something in the middle -- possibly a turbocharged 4-cylinder like the engines available in many rivals -- would be a great option.

Of course, most buyers won't mind trading slightly sluggish acceleration for excellent gas mileage. In that case, their only complaints will come when it rains.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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